Author Topic: Better beer through knowledge.  (Read 1171 times)

Offline rhcpfan4002

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Better beer through knowledge.
« on: May 13, 2013, 08:19:44 AM »
Yesterday I basically made a brew out of some left over grain I had hanging around so I could really play with my equipment and understand it and try to raise my efficiency. Did not really care about the brew as much as understand how much dead space I really had, how much truly boiled off in an hour, yada yada. During the brewing process I realized that when I do my decoction mash I never hit my wanted temp. I was usually off by 5F. Is there a formula out there to know how much mash you should pull and what temp to heat it up to so you get the right temp you are looking for? Just wondering how other people do it and preferably do it right. Just in case you need to know, I had roughly ten lbs of grain in 3.25 gallons of water and pulled 4 quarts of mash to do the decoction.
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Rain may fall, and wind may blow
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Better beer through knowledge.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 08:28:18 AM »
For me it was trial and error.  Not sure how you pulled the decoction, but I use a handled strainer that I can pull grain and let much of the water drain back in to the tun before placing in the boil pot.  I aim for about 2/3-3/4 of the mash and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes and replace.  I used to always be low on the next step temp until I started taking much more than I thought I needed.  I always have a pot of boiling water on hand but hit my O-Fest number on the button this weekend at 157F for the dex rest. 

Dave
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Offline denny

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Re: Better beer through knowledge.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 08:30:19 AM »
I've found that no matter what formula I use to determine decoction pulls, I'm always short of the temp.  If I do a decoction, I pull and boil close to half the mash.  I check the temp as I add it back.  When I hit my temp, I stop adding and let any grain I didn't use cool to mash temp before adding it back to the mash.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Better beer through knowledge.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 08:49:31 AM »
I've found that no matter what formula I use to determine decoction pulls, I'm always short of the temp.  If I do a decoction, I pull and boil close to half the mash.  I check the temp as I add it back.  When I hit my temp, I stop adding and let any grain I didn't use cool to mash temp before adding it back to the mash.

Yeah, I do the same thing. I'll pull about 25-30% more than the calculator tells me to. It's usually about half the mash, give or take.
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Offline rhcpfan4002

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Re: Better beer through knowledge.
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 10:13:16 AM »
Thanks, for the advice. I'll try to boil half the mash and add till I hit my temperature. I believe I saw that amount before but that quantity seemed so large I did not believe it. You saved my brews from trial and error.
“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by”
― J.R.R. Tolkien